LGBT students say they feel ‘unwelcome’ at school

Almost half of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils in Northern Ireland secondary schools say they have been bullied and two in three say that they feel unwelcome in schools.

The North’s Department of Education sought to obtain both qualitative and quantitative information directly from LGBT young people (16 to 21) on the issues affecting them within the secondary school environment. Their views were captured through an online survey.

The research shows that 48 per cent of LGBT pupils claim to have been bullied as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The main forms of bullying include name-calling, lies or false rumours, being isolated by other pupils or hit, kicked, pushed, shoved around. However, fewer than one in four report the bullying to a member of school staff.

About two in three indicated that they did not feel welcomed or valued within school while six per cent had to move school because of how their issues were managed.

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